So some of you people already know that I live in Baton Rouge. Some of you may not know this until now. I’m here. I’ve survived the horrible flooding that happened here about a week ago. Thankfully, I wasn’t effected by this much. I have friends that have lost most of their possessions. I have co-workers that lost most of what they own.
I am so lucky and I know it. I feel terrible with all of this loss around me. Baton Rouge is going to be hurting for a long time. People don’t always have flood insurance when it isn’t required. Sometimes it isn’t enough. Sometimes you have to wait for the money and in the meantime you don’t have much.
I think the worst part about everything now compared to Hurricane Katrina is that the population didn’t double overnight. Our housing capacity was halved. Let that sink in for a minute. Literally half of the housing in Baton Rouge is unlivable. Whole apartment complexes are closed now. People can’t live there while it’s being renovated. Where do they go? Friends with apartments? They flooded too. Maybe they can get to Livingston parish. That area suffered worse than Baton Rouge.
Driving through neighborhoods I never would have dreamed would have ever flooded are trashed. The water pushed cars. It pushed trash. It toppled fences. People are getting back in and trying to prevent mold from destroying houses. So they rip out all the flooring and toss it in the front yard. The sheetrock got wet. It comes out. Anything that got wet is in the yard. Flood water is not pleasant to deal with. It carries raw sewer. It carries oil from cars. It carries dirt.
Housing isn’t the only thing that is a problem either. Thousands of cars were lost. Entire dealerships went under water. Florida Boulevard has dozens of used car lots. So many of those flooded. The used car market is basically non-existent. The new car market is pretty tight. That still doesn’t help all the people who only carry liability only because that’s all they can afford.
I can’t imagine the struggle so many people will face in the coming weeks. I just look around and say it’s only stuff and it can be replaced. Then I remember that while that is true for me. Not everyone is so fortunate.